A friend quoted me this verse regarding the issue that God owns everything, and we’re just stewards of His property, including our businesses:
Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.
In both Christian and Jewish circles, I always hear the words, “I’m a steward of God’s property,” or “God owns this company,” or the final nail in the property ownership issue coffin, “God owns it all.”
God’s principle of work and property for us to follow
Work. God created the World in six days and then rested on the seventh, He modeled this work/rest principle for us. Then on the seventh day, God rested, and so did Adam. When God created the World, He also created something out of nothing, but then He continuously improved from His foundation and built in a specific sequence. The animals were not created before the world or plants or waters, so God shows us project management skills. As co-creators with our Creator because we are made “in His image,” all work starts with ideas, then to develop them and be productive. God both prepared (created the World) then blessed (invested in?) both Adam and Eve first and then gave them their assignments and told them to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule [have dominion] over…” the earth.
It shows God became, and is our, Angel Investor. God expects a return, for us to be productive not merely consumptive, of His investments. He’s not a genie for all of our wishes, but He’s generous helping us create wealth (Jas 1:5). You and your talents (intellectual/talent property) and what He has blessed you with and gifted you in is your property. Why?
Property. When you read the Ten Commandments, two of them that are most pronounced show God designed, believes in, and ultimately supports individual property rights, whether believer and unbeliever. In Exodus 20:15, He says, “You shall not steal,” and in 20:17 He says, “You shall not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor.” That means anything of your neighbor’s, and this includes intellectual as well as physical property.
I worked for a small businessman who built from scratch their family business into the #1 franchise in the nation. He stated one day, “Attending a Christian wealth conference, the host asked a curious question for all of us: ‘How can you get personal joy from giving away what God owns?’ It seems to me if I own it, I’d get more joy from giving what I own than giving what God owns.” My initial thought was, “Yea, you’re right, there is something to be said about joy and giving and property ownership from the Biblical perspective.” I put our discussion on the back burner. But then reading my Bible verse, certain words leaped out at me from this verse.
Job 1:3 His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
Then another one.
Job 1:10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
First, the plain text says, “His possessions,” Job’s possessions, it does not say, “God’s possessions which Job is a steward of here on earth.” The next phrases, “You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased.” It does not say, “Job increased God’s possessions because of his own labor.” Even though God called Job, “my servant” (Job 2:3), God blessed Job with more possessions as rewards for his actions.
In other words: God initially blesses us, then rewards us from the fruit of our good labors. That means we never have a need to steal or defrauded others of any of their property. Criminals stealing from you or your neighbor’s question, “Can I buy you coffee/lunch so I can pick your brain?” invitation to steal your intellectual property, i.e., your experience. However…
Be responsible with our possessions God has blessed us with
The Biblical phrase “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen 1:26) means we’re co-creators with our Creator, but God’s mandate to be co-creators with Him has been lost in the transmission and translation since Adam. From God’s original intent to have dominion, individual property rights from the fruit of our labor, it came to mean that property rights only applied to pharaohs and other monarchs in Moses’ day.
But when Moses received the 10 Commandments, God codified property rights for all. Each and every individual has the authority from God, from the vertical level with God, to responsibly use what they own in the way they see best to prosper and have dominion over their portion of the earth. Conversely, on the horizontal level with our neighbors, we have nearly absolute property rights concerning other humans. No other person in God's image has authority over, is entitled to, or should defraud individuals of what property God has blessed each person. That’s the point of God’s commandments to everyone, “Thou shalt not steal or covet.”
Nevertheless, a caveat. When parents give property to their children, toys to children or cars to teenagers, what happens when they misbehave or abuse their property? Most good parents take the property away until the child or teenager proves again they can handle the property responsibly. We, believers, are children of God, He wants us to behave correctly with our property, too. While Job did not sin (Job 1:22), he needed to realize as God is our Heavenly parent, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away”(Job 1:21), our property is still subject to God’s sovereign will and purpose.
It is about our free will, whether rich or poor, concerning Biblical individual property rights. But with those rights bring a cautious responsibility for those who want to be unreasonably or irresponsibly possessive of (Luke 12:13-21), have a lax attitude toward (Adam and Eve were told to “guard” the Garden, Gen 2:14), or become a Christian monk abstaining/avoiding prosperity and property altogether (Matt 25:24-28) to prevent becoming greedy. God has, wants, and desires to bless each individual with prosperity and property. God expects faith plus works, work six days, rest on the seventh.
John 15:2 AMPC Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.
Per the story of Job, God will bless you then test your heart whether you are stingy with, shun, or squander versus being a good steward of your property. As you mature in your trust in God, and less in your property and wealth, and when you pass your wealth property test, He may bless and promote you with more capital and wealth (Job 42:10). As long as you’re doing good with what He has blessed you with, God has your business and economic back; He is your Angel Investor.
Heb 13:5 AMPC Let your [a]character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!]
We’re not to be free of property, but free from the “love of property.”
Luke 16:10-12 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
The first step, God blesses us for being productive with our property, i.e., we’re profitable, even very profitable. The second step, we should then invest, share, or give a portion of our wisdom, work, or wealth surplus to others to be more productive so that we might fulfill the “be fruitful and multiply,” not to be slothful and just get by.
When you compare Matt 25:15, “each according to his ability,” with Matt 25:21, 23, “you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things,” you see a distinct pattern. God wants us to be producers of what He has blessed us with.
Your Heavenly Father tests your trust in Him so He will entrust more with you.
God is our Angel Investor.
 God is a capitalist by Roger McKinney, chapter 3.